Oxy’s majority interest in the giant Elk Hills Field in Kern County is a key factor in our position as California’s largest natural gas producer and largest oil and gas producer on a gross-operated barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) basis. Located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, Elk Hills — a former U.S. National Strategic Petroleum Reserve — is one of the largest oil and natural gas fields in the United States.
Oxy’s Elk Hills operations exemplify the company’s focus on acquiring large, long-lived properties and, by applying advanced recovery techniques, continuing to increase production in these mature fields.
Since Oxy acquired its significant interest in the Elk Hills Field from the U.S. government in 1998, the combined cumulative production from the field and additional acquisitions in the area is over 490 million net BOE as of year-end 2012, with production coming from both conventional and unconventional resources. Cumulative production since 1998 from the field and additional acquisitions, plus remaining proven reserves at those locations, are nearly double the original acquisition’s proved reserves.
Oxy has customized a range of recovery processes to the Elk Hills Field’s complex reservoirs, transforming this long-producing asset into the No. 1 producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids in California. The proven technology used at the Elk Hills Field has been transferred to acquired adjacent properties, which are benefiting with increased production.
In 2012, Oxy began operating a state-of-the-art cryogenic gas processing plant at Elk Hills with capacity to handle 200 million cubic feet per day.
Oxy’s California shale program started at Elk Hills. Building on more than a decade of knowledge and expertise gained from exploring and producing the Elk Hills Field’s shale zones, Oxy continues to expand the program to additional California assets, including properties in the Los Angeles, Ventura and San Joaquin basins.
In 2010, the California Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) awarded Oxy with Outstanding Lease Award for leases at its Elk Hills Field. The company also has been recognized for outstanding environmental stewardship by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Conservation, the California Climate Action Registry, the Wildlife Habitat Council and other organizations. Elk Hills’ environmental programs and initiatives include the preservation of endangered species habitats, emissions reduction, waste minimization and recycling, and cultural resource preservation.